Science & Technology

American Inventions
by Stephen van Dulken

American Inventions is a history of "Curious, Extraordinary, and Just Plain Useful Patents" that were approved by the U.S. Patent Office during the past two centuries. This book displays how an inventive character has shaped so many aspects of our everyday life in the home, the workplace, and on the open road. It describes a panorama of ingenuity in a compelling story which sparks those "eureka" moments in American history.

By compiling a thorough catalog of inventions, van Dulken shows how trends in the history of the United States are reflected in the patent records. In one example, the history of the frisbee is traced from an early college pastime of throwing pie tins to a time when the public was fascinated with flying saucers. Illustrated with original patent drawings, this book describes the origins of popular and obscure creations that were discovered among more than six million patents. Viewed together, these creations demonstrate objects and ideas that are by nature ingenious, amusing and perfectly sensible.

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About the Author

The author of numerous books on the history of patents, Stephen Van Dulken is an expert curator in the Patents Information Service of The British Library. Inventing the 19th Century, chronicles the remarkable technological achievements of the Victorian Age while Inventing the 20th Century (with Andrew Phillips), highlights 100 inventions from the past century. Stephen van Dulken guides researchers to use patents as a source of historical information for the development of science and technology.

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